Bezos said Amazon would also offer a Kindle Fire HD -- sporting a 1,280 by 800-pixel display -- for $199 starting Sept. 14, and a Wi-Fi version of the Fire 8.9-inch HD for $299 in late November. Both prices would be in the iPad Mini's ballpark if the analysts are correct.
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, writing in Forbes, also pitched in on the Kindle vs. iPad tussle.
Arguing that Amazon's move was "by no means [a] victory," Moorhead cited several advantages Apple held, including the yet-to-be-confirmed iPad Mini. "The sheer fact that Apple will launch a tablet at that low price will bring in consumers in swarms," he wrote. "Yes, consumers will be able to get the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablet with 1,920-by-1,200-pixel resolution for $299, but they're also not getting the Apple brand and experience."
The three analysts concluded that Amazon, even with impressive hardware, aggressive pricing, and a content ecosystem in the best position to take on Apple, ultimately won't be able to unseat the iPad. According to IDC, the iPad accounted for 68 percent of all tablet sales in the quarter that ended June 30, up nearly seven percentage points from the year's first quarter.
"This announcement will do little to halt the momentum of Apple's iPad franchise that continues to gain momentum around the world," White predicted.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
Read more about tablets in Computerworld's Tablets Topic Center.